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Top 10 Reasons I Created GovLoop


Since starting GovLoop, I’ve received a lot of questions from people. The two most common questions are:

-Why Did You Create GovLoop?
-Why Do We Need GovLoop When We Already Have X (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Trade Mags, Discussion
Boards, etc)?

Both are valid and good questions. So here are my Top 10 Reasons I Created GovLoop:

10 – Meet New People – While Facebook/LinkedIn are great, it is mainly about staying in connect with people you already know. I wanted to meet and connect innovative people in the government community that I don’t already know. (But GovLoop has privacy controls if you don’t want to do this). Personally, I’ve already met a ton of innovative people and found a number of great blogs through GovLoop.

9 – Calendar of Good Gov’t Events – There are lots of great government organizations that put on a ton of events. However, the events and organizations are siloed and it is hard to keep track of all the activities going on. With GovLoop, any one can update their government event to share with the members.

8 – Better Discussions – I’ve participated in government discussion boards and have generally been disappointed. Most boards end up focusing on topics like maximizing TSP or how to get hired as a border patrol agent. Other boards just turned into anonymous ranting against bosses and their agencies. Facebook and LinkedIn both lack true blog features. Plus, Facebook group discussions are limited, often inactive, and siloed while LinkedIn groups lack a discussion feature (Q&As can work sometimes). I wanted a place to have substantive discussions such as “What’s the Future of Gov’t Service” and How to Implement Web 2.0.”

7 – Anonymity vs Openness – One of the disadvantages of most discussion boards/comment threads is the anonymity. You don’t know who you are talking with and their background. GovLoop improves this through social profiles so you know people’s background and what they look like. And for those that still need anonymity, you can keep your profile very limited.

6 – Connect Job Seekers with Employers – As co-founder of Young Government Leaders, I am asked for the same advice by new people every month. Recent grads (and actually people of all ages) want to work for the gov’t and ask me how to find a job. Gov’t agencies complain how hard it is to get great talent and ask how to improve recruitment. Hopefully, GovLoop will help connect the two, offer suggestions to both job seekers and agencies, and get more smart, innovative thinkers into government.

5 – Resources – When I first started with the government, I didn’t know there was something called “the government community.” I didn’t know there were trade magazine, discounts, professional organizations, and professional development events that would help my career. Along the way, I’ve gathered a list of great resources for new and exciting gov’t employees that I hope people will use to get smart quickly. Eventually, I will move this to a wiki but for now, send me any resources I’m missing.

4 – Break Down Silos – Government can easily be siloed. You can be stuck in your agency. Your community (HR, IT, Policy, etc). Or only talk to only one sector of government (federal, state, local). But I noticed in my participation in conferences, there were a lot of great ideas and action going on in a wide range of places. However, they often did not know about each other but would always be excited when they could make the connections and learn from each other. Hopefully, GovLoop will break down some silos and increase sharing across all levels.

3 – Outlet for Ideas – Most people who work in the gov’t community are passionate about public service. Additionally, they have a lot of ideas on improving government. However, these ideas may not always have a voice at your agency. This could be due to your organization structure, budget constraints, or. GovLoop offers an outlet for people to share their ideas from the inside on how to improve government. I think Kriste stated this perfectly in the comments here.

2 – Central Hub – It is hard to keep track of all the good stuff happening in government. As discussed earlier with calendar, the various government organizations are siloed so it is hard to keep track of what is going on. Also, discussions are stuck in their siloes. For example, rather than just federal web managers talking about social media wouldn’t it be cool to open up the dialogue to academics/students who may be innovating, digital natives who use social media daily, as well as state/local innovators who have ideas.

1 – Open Up the Community – Great ideas come from everywhere. However, a lot of the places where the gov’t community connects and discusses ways to improve government have geographical and time constraints. As I attended more of these events, I thought more about the gov’t employee who couldn’t attend events after work activities as they had to pick up their kids. Or all the govies outside of D.C. who couldn’t attend these events. Or have funding to attend these great conferences elsewhere. Or the just retired fed who lives in NC but would still like to share his/her ideas. Or the academic/student living in Madison or Lawrence. GovLoop opens up the community and eliminates these restrictions (you just need Internet).

Bonus Reason – I Needed a Hobby – Finally, I needed a hobby. My partner is a tenure-track assistant professor and so most weekday nights (after work) and weekends we spend at a coffee shop while she writes her papers. Rather than just read PerezHilton.com, I thought I would do something valuable with my time.

So those are my reasons for starting GovLoop. What are your reasons for joining? What do you find valuable? Any suggestions for improvement.

Leave a Comment

10 Comments

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Profile Photo Jeffrey Levy

Not a single comment? Hmm. Well, let me say that all 10 are outstanding reasons, and I think the results since you wrote this show you’re achieving every imaginable measure of success!

Reply
Profile Photo Michael O. Johnston

Yes I agree Jeffrey, Steve is definitely achieving all of those which he has listed and then some. I think that this blog post was probably not commented on due to it getting lost in all the other activity going on.

Everyone have a great Superbowl Sunday!

Reply
Profile Photo Luis R. Alonso

I just joined Govloop for a very good reason: I loved the Idea! How could I not like it? This is perfect…
The group section and the personal page is all I need for now, and they keep me coming back.
Thanks for this site Govloop site founders and staff.

Reply
Profile Photo Andy Allu

I joined because I think the more knowledge and understanding I can obtain, the better I will be able to help add value to an effective and efficient Government. As I learn more about the real world issues and solution drivers within Federal Government, the more intelligent my solutions can be. Thank you all for founding, initiating and participating in this site…!

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Profile Photo JAMA

i joined for this site in a career development in my studies and challenges for decissions in the development world.and also gathering experianced and creatives for puplic services for thier ideas and discussions
iam student resident where there is no puplic service academy or proffisionaly and even any organisation help the governmant unless for state in no stabilty iam requesting members for all educators for consultances and govloop to help me my request
farhan jama

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Profile Photo Wayne Eddy

I joined because I have created a site for Australian Local Governments to share information, and I wanted to find out if there were similar initiatives being developed in other countries.

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Profile Photo Hélio Leite Teixeira

I joined because I will want create a site for Brazillian Government to improve public services, share information, and I wanted to find out if there were similar initiatives being developed in other countries.

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Profile Photo Craig Thomler

I’m here because if I’m going to work in the public sector I want to make a contribution beyond a 9-5 role.

In Australia my experience has been that we have a very conservative business and government culture. Innovation frequently has to go overseas to get funding and support. I’d like to see this change, even a little, so that we recognise, appreciate and support the fantastic Australians who are creating the future.

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Profile Photo Chris Nwagboso

I have just joined Govloop for the excellenct reason that when we work together, we can become the beachhead and the bridge for knowledge transfer and exchange of best practice on Improving the performance of the civil service. This is most important in Africa and other developing world, where experienced, retired civil servants, consultants in USA and other advanced countries can help build the civil service and public sector in Africa. We are creating the network and the infrastrcture that will enable the exchange of knowledge and human capital through the link with Govloop.

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Profile Photo Jodi Maggin

Hi, I am new to GovLoop. Our company, WeSave works with State Governments in providing their employees access to local, regional and national deals, discounts, etc. We are currently in 7 States and will be growing in many more over the next year. If your interested in learning more I’d love to explore some ideas on adding value for state and government employees. Any feedback on ideal merchants, deals and discounts would also be great. Thanks!

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